Quick review on tournaments in Thailand.
Two ITF events with 10000$ prize money took place in Greta Resort 10-20 January. These are the first big tournaments in Thailand after a 3 years of silence.
I’ve already got a pleasure to play tournaments in this country in 2014 and have visited Greta Farm for two times: in 2015 for ITF tournament and in 2016 for training camp.
This time many changes were noticed. First of all, the place turned into a great sport base with 9 beach tennis courts, tennis club, different types of hospitality and all the rest infrastructure you may need as a professional athlete. Comparing to the farm with animals and 3 beach tennis courts, that met us in 2016. So that’s why resort is becoming one of the main points of organizing big tennis and beach tennis events as well as camps. According to the words of the tournaments organizer Renaud Cazillac (the full interview I will publish soon) Greta Sport Club host over 40 sport events during the year.
I really loved the way tournaments were organized. It felt very cozy and almost like a family party, as all the players stayed altogether in the same place. Actually in my experience these are the first events after junior tennis tournaments, where you can live and play at the same place with walking distance room-court 50 meters.
The first tournament was 3 days long. On Friday matches till the quarterfinal. Saturday - till the semifinal and mixed. Sunday - semifinal and final. Specially for the tournament were brought 5 Thai masseuse to give a massage for players for 300 bats.
When the final matches were over was organized a players party with free barbecue and DJ.
After the first tournament some of the players left to explore the Thailand and came back on Thursday. And some stayed to train in Greta. For those who stayed organizers together with Thai navy suggested a free day-tour to the magnificent island Ko Kham with nice beach, where we spent 3 hours, snorkeling, photoshooting and kayaking. After which was offered a lunch at the restaurant in Navy base with all the best seafood. Again - free.
For the 2nd tournament some new players arrived, but the format and schedule was the same, except instead of the party there was just a tasty lunch due to the fact many players left on Sunday already.
As I already mentioned, I really enjoyed there in Thailand. But also there are some flashbacks from other people I talked to… Firstly, unfortunately there was no consolation tournament for those who lost in the first round. Secondly the days between the tournaments could be used more efficient. For example by organizing amateur and junior tournaments (as there is an AmaTour and Junior Tour in beachtennis.io), as well as the training camp. Also mixed double and single tournaments for participants of ITF could be organized during the week, leaving weekends for double matches.
Last but not the least, thanks to the proper and actual work with beachtennis.io bythe tournament director and referees every day people could see the draws, updated results and tournament schedule on the website and in our social networks.
Due to the changes in ITF rules the tournaments in Thailand with prize money category 10000$ thanks to the provided +H (hospitality) will be almost equal in points calculation with ITF15000$ in Brazil on the next week with higher level and bigger quantity of participants. Don’t really think that this rule is fair, as the points from last year were not recounted and tournaments appeared in calendar almost at the last moment.
Again thanks to the organizers. 100% percents that I would love to play in Thailand again. Hopefully next year tournaments will appear in the calendar earlier than this year and I will manage to organize touristic trip around the tournaments days.